The Role of e-Health in Optimizing Task-Shifting in the Delivery of Antiviral Therapy for Chronic Hepatitis C. Telemedicine journal and e-health Yoo, E. R., Perumpail, R. B., Cholankeril, G., Jayasekera, C. R., Ahmed, A. 2017

Abstract

Recently, we reported the successful application of task-shifting to improve the management of patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection receiving treatment with direct-acting antiviral (DAA) agents in underserved areas of California. We assessed the impact of e-health on task-shifting in our treatment model.In a retrospective analysis, we reviewed the impact of e-health on optimizing the delivery of DAA-based regimen to HCV-infected patients in outreach clinics in medically underserved areas of California. A nonphysician healthcare provider worked in close conjunction with a hepatologist to monitor the patients during the course of antiviral therapy. We exclusively used our institution-based, secured e-health portal as the means of communication with the local staff and patients in outreach clinics.From January 2015 to June 2016, we treated over 100 HCV-infected patients with DAA-based regimens using the task-shifting model. During the study period, we did not experience any delay in the care of our patients undergoing treatment with DAA agents. Communication with the patient and staff using e-health was prompt, secured, and documented in electronic medical records. Due to the optimization of task-shifting by e-health and safety/tolerability of DAA, 95% patients did not need a follow-up clinic visit during the treatment. Return clinic visits during the treatment were unrelated to DAA use or associated with ribavirin-related anemia. In addition, we noted improvement in access and capacity of our outreach clinic.We report a positive impact of e-health in optimizing task-shifting for DAA in HCV-infected patients in underserved outreach clinics. More importantly, a secondary improvement in access and capacity of our clinic was noted.

View details for DOI 10.1089/tmj.2016.0189

View details for PubMedID 28375820